Does the UK really have a Single Currency "Opt Out"?

Reviewing the 'Maastricht' Treaty on European Union, it is noted:

Would Her Majesty's Government please confirm if a water-tight mechanism exists to prevent the UK being required to join a Single Currency at any time, and if so, detail what provisions supersede the potential loopholes described above?

The Treasury has had to reply to the question and in their response, they have totally skirted over the point that an opt-out is worthless if what it relates to isn't properly defined. Instead they waffle on about it being impossible to enter Stage 3 without a separate Act of Parliament! (When implementing EC Directives, over which we have no choice, we must also pass a "separate Act of Parliament").

Commentators may also note that it is not technically necessary for the UK to re-enter the ERM to qualify for the Single Currency (even though same was given as a reason for not admitting Sweden). Coincidentally observing the fluctuation bands for a specified period would meet the conditions of the small print.

In any case, by signing EC/EEC Treaties, we have committed to their goals - this was confirmed in a European Court ruling in Cases 161/78 and 44/84. The Maastricht Treaty (Art. 3a2) lists a single currency (meaning "only one" and not "a common currency for those that want one"). Member states also committed not to do anything that might jeopardise the achievement of Treaty objectives. (Art. 5)

To be sure of avoiding the Euro, Britain must leave the EU


Footnote: New numbering, Treaty of Amsterdam: Articles: 4, 10, 122, 123; also Protocol 25.

Article first summarised in 1996 (Eurofacts), then hosted on Keele CEG website.
This page updated: 17 March 2000

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